The company started working in China in 2016 and is now closing down in China amid a zero-COVID policy, travel restrictions, and lockdowns.
Airbnb shuts operation in China amid lockdowns. With COVID-19 restrictions showing no sign of coming to an end, home rental services are near their end and are shutting down their operations in China making no further bookings effective from July 30th, 2022.
The market leader in local property rentals, Airbnb has announced to wind up its operations in China. The company started working in China in 2016 and is now closing down in China amid a zero-COVID policy, travel restrictions, and lockdowns.
Earlier this week, the company sources announced that its China-based team will stop taking any more bookings for its partner properties from July. The option for making bookings beyond 29 July has been suspended according to the screenshots shared on social media in China.
A source that is familiar with the shutdown decision, has also confirmed Airbnb’s decision for shutting the business after suffering immense losses in China during the pandemic restrictions. The reports show no indication of the authorities extending the co-existence of the virus or opening the borders.
Omicron Variant in China
Due to a recent wave of the Omicron variant in China, the government bodies have further increased the policies for stopping the spread across China. Major Chinese cities, including Shanghai and Beijing, have been put on lockdown once again with strict travel restrictions being placed not only in the cities but also in the entire provinces.
The rental app has listings across China, providing accommodation to more than 25 million guests since starting its operations in the country in 2016. The company states that it has become much more expensive for it to face the strong local competition in these situations. For Airbnb, the earnings from China operations account for just 1% of its global takings which has gotten worse since COVID-19 and the restrictions following the pandemic.
According to Pheonix, a Chinese media channel, Airbnb has employed hundreds of employees in its Beijing office that are now difficult to manage due to little to no earnings. The company, however, has refused to share many details on the matter. This became a piece of trending news on Weibo, the Chinese social media website.
Restrictions on Tourism in China
Chinese travelers and residents are still facing strict and heavy travel and accommodation restrictions which have affected adversely the World tourism. According to the statistics between the years 2009 to 2019, the number of Chinese travelers overseas rose three times more accounting for 155 million.
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But as the remaining parts of the world have opened tourism, Airbnb has received a record number of booking in the rest of the world in the first quarter with record bookings of 102 million but this trend has been the opposite in China. According to Airbnb, the trend among its guest continues to be people booking their stays away from the city area. But many guests are making bookings closer to cities now including cross-border bookings for international trips. The further company added that it will be shifting its focus to the Chinese residents traveling to other countries. Thus, Airbnb shuts operation in China amid lockdowns.